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Bing, Twitter continue their search party

Microsoft bills its Bing search engine as a social one, and to keep it that way it's renewing a partnership with Twitter to keep tweets appearing in Bing search results, the companies said Friday.

Tweets have been featured prominently in Bing for a few years, as part of Microsoft's effort to incorporate plenty of information from sites like Twitter, Facebook and Klout. With a smaller market share, the search engine is far from beating Google but hopes to attract more users by weaving in more social data.

"Whether it's a politician, celebrity, thought leader or friend, our renewed partnership with Twitter ensures that you have near real-time access to what people are tweeting tailored to what you're searching for," Microsoft said in a brief blog post Friday. It didn't say how long the partnership has been renewed for.

Google is the market leader in search with nearly 67 percent share in the U.S., according to a September comScore ranking. Microsoft was a distant second with roughly 18 percent share, while Yahoo, which uses Bing on the back end, came in third at about 11 percent.

Microsoft gave Bing a makeover of sorts in September. Along with a new look, it created a new results view that merges social posts with factual information about people, places and things.

Competition between Twitter and rivals like Microsoft, Google and Facebook is likely to heat up once the social network goes public on the New York Stock Exchange. But, "we also depend in part on Internet search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, to drive traffic to our website," Twitter said in its IPO documents.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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